By Brian Leonard on Jun 23, 2011
In addition to the traditional virtualization benefits that Solaris zones offer, applications running in zones are also running in a more secure environment. One way to quantify this is compare the privileges available to the global zone with those of a local zone.
For example, there a 82 distinct privileges available to the global zone:
bleonard@solaris:~$ ppriv -l | wc -l 82
You can view the descriptions for each of those privileges as follows:
bleonard@solaris:~$ ppriv -lv contract_event Allows a process to request critical events without limitation. Allows a process to request reliable delivery of all events on any event queue. contract_identity Allows a process to set the service FMRI value of a process contract template. ...
Or for just one or more privileges:
bleonard@solaris:~$ ppriv -lv file_dac_read file_dac_write file_dac_read Allows a process to read a file or directory whose permission bits or ACL do not allow the process read permission. file_dac_write Allows a process to write a file or directory whose permission bits or ACL do not allow the process write permission. In order to write files owned by uid 0 in the absence of an effective uid of 0 ALL privileges are required.
However, in a non-global zone, only 43 of the 83 privileges are available by default:
root@myzone:~# ppriv -l zone | wc -l 43
The missing privileges are:
cpc_cpu dtrace_kernel dtrace_proc dtrace_user file_downgrade_sl file_flag_set file_upgrade_sl graphics_access graphics_map net_mac_implicit proc_clock_highres proc_priocntl proc_zone sys_config sys_devices sys_ipc_config sys_linkdir sys_dl_config sys_net_config sys_res_bind sys_res_config sys_smb sys_suser_compat sys_time sys_trans_label virt_manage win_colormap win_config win_dac_read win_dac_write win_devices win_dga win_downgrade_sl win_fontpath win_mac_read win_mac_write win_selection win_upgrade_sl xvm_control
However, just like Tim Taylor, it is possible to give your zones more power. For example, a zone by default doesn't have the privileges to support DTrace:
root@myzone:~# dtrace -l ID PROVIDER MODULE FUNCTION NAME
The DTrace privileges can be added, however, as follows:
bleonard@solaris:~$ sudo zonecfg -z myzone Password: zonecfg:myzone> set limitpriv="default,dtrace_proc,dtrace_user" zonecfg:myzone> verify zonecfg:myzone> exit bleonard@solaris:~$ sudo zoneadm -z myzone reboot
Now I can run DTrace from within the zone:
root@myzone:~# dtrace -l | more ID PROVIDER MODULE FUNCTION NAME 1 dtrace BEGIN 2 dtrace END 3 dtrace ERROR 7115 syscall nosys entry 7116 syscall nosys return ...
Note, certain privileges are never allowed to be assigned to a zone. You'll be notified on boot if you attempt to assign a prohibited privilege to a zone:
bleonard@solaris:~$ sudo zoneadm -z myzone reboot privilege "dtrace_kernel" is not permitted within the zone's privilege set zoneadm: zone myzone failed to verify
Here's a nice listing of all the privileges and their zone status (default, optional, prohibited): Privileges in a Non-Global Zone.